|Aging, Age discrimination top|
|Employee Benefits top|
|Family Leave top|
|Clinton, Hillary, Hudson Institute, welfare reform,|
"The Personal Responsibility and Work
Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA, Pub.L. 104-193, 110 Stat.
2105, enacted 1996-08-22), is a United States federal law that was
considered to be a fundamental shift in both the method and goal of
federal cash assistance to the poor. The bill was introduced by Rep. E.
Clay Shaw, Jr., a very conservative Republican. PRWORA instituted
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) which became effective July
1, 1997 and replaced what was then commonly known as welfare, the Aid
Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and the Job Opportunities and
Basic Skills Training (JOBS) programs. In 1995 spending was $22.6 billion.
Although roundly denounced by liberal groups in 1996, the bill was
followed by a reduction in unemployment, which some have
attributed to the reform. Indeed, The New Republic opined"A broad
consensus now holds that welfare reform was certainly not a disaster--and
that it may, in fact, have worked much as its designers had hoped."
Essentially a cash stipend to the indigent with young children, it had three primary effects: (1) by forcing the recipient to meet certain conditions in exchange for support, it ended welfare as an entitlement program; (2) it placed a lifetime limit of no more than 60 months of benefits paid by federal funds; and (3) it was instituted as a block grant to states, which allowed states to experiment with different approaches as long as basic requirements were met. There is also a component that aims to encourage two-parent families and discourage out-of-wedlock births.
Although PRWORA has expired, Congress has continued to fund the program until a new bill is enacted. To continue to receive federal benefits, TANF recipients must work or look for work. Some individual state programs emphasized this shift with names for the program such as "Wisconsin Works" or "WorkFirst". Since the Act, enormous numbers of the poor have left or been terminated from the program, with most states' caseloads dropping by 50% over the first few years. Since there is less training and education available than with the earlier JOBS program, these "last hired, first fired" recipients have been returning to welfare and the caseloads have been increasing.
Critics of the law argue that a large reduction in the number of people collecting welfare benefits was largely a result of steady and strong economic growth in the years following the enactment of the law (Sawicky 2002-03, 69; Midgley 2000, 289). The poverty rate declined between 1992 and 1999 by under two percentage points, from 14.5% of families to 12.8% of families, which some have argued shows that the reform was not effective in fighting poverty (Midgley 2000, 288).
Although the law placed a time limit for benefits supported by federal funds of no more than 24 consecutive months and no more than 60 months over a lifetime, some states enacted far briefer limits. All states, however, have allowed exceptions with the intent of not punishing children because their parents have gone over the time limit. Federal reporting requirements have ensured some measure of uniformity across states, but the block grant approach has led individual states to carve up the pie of money in different ways, some states more actively encouraging than others a component of education or using the money to fund private enterprise to help job seekers.
|GOP, Scully, Foster, Bush, Medicare, Office of Inspector General, Report, copy, actual|
The Office of Inspector General (OIG)completed its investigation into
Thomas Scully,the former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and
(CMS),and Richard Foster,the CMS Chief Actuary.A report detailing OIG
findings has been
presented to the Department of Health and Human Services.
OIG conducted an investigation into whether (1)CMS provided information
Congressional Members and staff about the Medicare Prescription
Modernization Act (MMA),and,if CMS did not,whether withholding such
any criminal law;(2)Scully threatened Foster and,if threats
occurred,whether such threats
violated any criminal law or administrative policy;and (3)the CMS
Actuary has an independent
legal obligation to disclose information to Congress.
The General Accounting Office (GAO)will now make a legal determination
as to whether the
Department may have violated Federal appropriations law.
Based on our investigation,we conclude that:
• CMS did not provide premium estimates that had been requested by
Congress.Additionally,CMS did not provide Congressional staff with some
overall estimates of the total cost of the Medicare bill,as well as
Our investigation failed to produce evidence that criminal statutes were
in connection with the withholding of information from Members of
• Scully warned Foster that he would take disciplinary action if
certain information in response to Congressional requests.Scully also
Congressional staffer that he would fire Foster for releasing
assistant to Scully conveyed similar warnings to Foster.Scully never
disciplinary action against Foster.Scully ’s conduct did not violate
If Scully were still employed as the Administrator of CMS,we would have
referred this matter to the Department for possible administrative
associated with the Department ’s Standards of Ethical Conduct.Since
no longer a Federal employee,such a referral is not being made.